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Immigration Law

CDC Keeps Title 42 Expulsions In Place

Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News, Feb. 4, 2022

"After a recent internal review, the Biden administration decided to maintain a pandemic-era order put in place under former President Donald Trump that authorizes the rapid deportation of migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told CBS News Thursday. Since March 2020, the Trump and Biden administrations have expelled migrants over 1.5 million times without affording them the opportunity to request U.S. asylum, citing a series of CDC orders that argue the expulsions are needed to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in border processing facilities. The latest order authorizing the border expulsions, signed by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky in August 2021, instructed public health officials to evaluate the need for the policy every 60 days. Two reviews last fall led the agency to keep the order in place. On Thursday, a CDC spokesperson said the agency decided to continue invoking the expulsion authority, known as Title 42, after a third 60-day assessment that was due on February 2. "At this time, it remains in effect," the spokesperson told CBS News, referring to the Title 42 order. "The current reassessment examined the present impact of the pandemic throughout the United States and at the U.S. borders, taking special note of the surge in cases and hospitalizations since December due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant." The CDC, the spokesperson noted, "continues to emphasize the need for testing, vaccination, and other mitigation measures at border facilities beyond the use of the Order." The unprecedented Title 42 policy, initially instituted over the objections of CDC officials, has allowed the U.S. to "expel" migrants to Mexico or their home countries without allowing them to see a judge or an asylum officer, safeguards in U.S. law the government has argued it can suspend during a global pandemic."

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